The Chinese “spy balloon” detected in US airspace continues to fly over the country and could leave the mainland as early as Saturday, according to a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) weather model interpreted by the media.
The balloon, which has strained relations between Beijing and Washington to the maximum, was this morning at the height of the city of Charlotte, in North Carolina, according to images published by national media. Travel east and could leave the country this Saturday.
At times it is even visible to the population, as testimonies offered by inhabitants of the area show, despite the fact that it is located some 60,000 feet from the surface (18,288 meters).
Two US defense officials told CNN the balloon is expected to reach the east coast and then head out to sea in the southeast near the Carolinas.
Despite the commotion unleashed by the event, the US government has not yet offered new updates on the device this Saturday, and nothing new is known about the other balloon that is flying over Latin Americaconfirmed Friday by the Pentagon.
CNN and other media have calculated the trajectory of the spy balloon based on the NOAA meteorological model, known as HYSPLIT, which is used to simulate the dispersion or trajectory of substances dispersed in the atmosphere and has provided analysts with information about the movements expected from the globe, based on their past locations.
The Pentagon announced this past Thursday that it was following the movements of a “spy balloon” aircraft that flew over the state of Montana (northeast USA), where one of the three existing nuclear missile silo fields on US soil is located.
For the moment, the Pentagon leadership has strongly recommended to the president, Joe Biden, that he take no action against the device for security reasons, since debris could fall on the population. However, this decision could change once the balloon leaves the ground.
The presence of this Chinese “spy balloon” in US airspace has triggered a diplomatic crisis between Washington and Beijing and has led to the suspension of the trip that the Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, had planned to make to the Asian country.
For its part, Beijing admitted this Friday that the globe belongs to it, although it assured that “It is a civil airship used for research purposes, mainly meteorological.”